Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fall Favorite: Pumpkin!

Canned and fresh pumpkin are a staple in my kitchen at this time of year.
Pumpkin not only adds great nutrition and flavor to baked goods but can be
used in many savory dishes. Pumpkin is a nutrient dense, low calorie
food. One serving (~ ½ cup) only contains 25 calories and is a great
source of Vitamin A, antioxidants, B Vitamins, and minerals copper,
potassium, phosphorus and calcium.

Add Pumpkin to:

  • Soups
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Risotto
  • Ravioli
  • Hummus
  • Savory dips
  • Baked goods (cookies, cakes, pies, muffins etc.)
  • Pancakes

Check out some of my favorite pumpkin recipes!...

Creamy Pumpkin Leek Soup

  • 1, 3 pound Sugar Pumpkin-peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 Leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 to 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • plain greek yogurt, croutons, and paprika, for serving

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss pumpkin with 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the roasted pumpkin, 4 cups of broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. In a blender, working in batches, puree the soup until smooth,adjusting the consistency with the remaining broth as necessary. Top the soup with the sour cream, or plain yogurt and croutons and sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Pumpkin Pie Parfait

  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 6 oz.  fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 apple or ½ banana
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • dash of Cinnamon/ Nutmeg
1. In a microwave safe bowl combine 1/3 cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup milk, 1 tsp brown sugar, and sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. Mix and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl combine 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, 1 tsp of brown sugar and sprinkle of cinnamon.  Mix.
3. In serving cup for bowl. Use half oatmeal mixture as the bottom layer. Then layer half of the pumpkin puree mixture, then half of the greek yogurt. Sprinkle with cinnamon and ½ of the chopped apple. Repeat layers as desired.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 Tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula.  Fold in semi-sweet chocolate chips. They may not stick to the dough because of the melted butter, but do your best to have them evenly dispersed among the dough. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.
3. Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Roll the dough into balls, about 2 Tablespoons of dough each. Slightly flatten the dough balls. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes. The cookies will look very soft and under baked. Keeping them in the oven for longer may dry them out.  
5. Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack.  The longer the cookies cool, the chewier they will be.